Inside this week's Big League Magazine...
THE overwhelming narrative about Tariq Sims has centred on his right leg. We all know about his wretched luck last season, when he broke it in the same place as he did the year before.
Column inches and television seconds were dedicated to the idea he may be wary about running back on the field with a niggling doubt in the back of his mind that it could happen again.
But as he laughs off that idea, you quickly understand it was never actually the case.
“I’ve never really had that feeling, that was just all media trying to kick that up,” Sims explains. “I’m a pretty confident sort of bloke and these things happen in football. It’s a contact sport. You expect to get injured if you’re playing a game as physical as we are. Accidents are bound to happen and it just so happened that I’ve done it twice in the same leg, which is unfortunate.
“It’s football. You move on. I don’t really think about rehurting it again at all.”
No doubt the 23-year-old is sick of talking about his leg. So we asked him about playing Origin. Because no-one talks to him about that much, right?
“It’s up to me to try and force my spot in the team,” Sims says. “You’ve got back-rowers in the team like Luke Lewis and Anthony Watmough, they’re just tough as nails. Once they get out there they get their job done. It’s good to see and as a young bloke I look at that and think that’s where they are and that’s where I’ve got to be.”
Finally, we turn to the completely undiscussed topic of the Cowboys’ down form. Though they won on the road against St George Illawarra, their third away win for the season, repaying their fans’ dedication through tough times starts this Sunday at home.
“We’ve got to build a fortress up here, because the fans up here are awesome,” Sims says. “They’re the best fans in the NRL. They’re loud and wild and they always turn up. We’ve got to make sure we get a good strong showing out of the boys.”